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06-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
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shiestmiester's Avatar

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MX Flash Suggestions

So I recently acquired a Pentax MX. I own a Pentax AF200t flash which works fine, but i'm tired of those "flash" shots. I'm looking for a flash that will bounce so I have some more options with composition. I bought a Promaster 5000m but the shoe broke twice, once still usable now just busted, so i think i'll stick with good 'ol pentax or something else of similar quality.

Also would an external light meter be a good idea since it's all manual?

Any suggestions are welcome,

T

06-25-2010, 08:32 AM   #2
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Maybe the Pentax AF280T will suit you? It is quite cheap, and offers tilt/swiwel ("bounce"), automatic operation and two manual flash power settings (1/1 and 1/12). It also has a TTL (not P-TTL) for use with the newer 'automatic' film bodies and the *ist D.
If you want to do fully manual flash, another one will do better. I had a Sunpak Digi Robot 32 that had a full array of manual and automatic flash settings (though not TTL), better if you don't trust the auto-thyristor sensor in the flash.

Although a light meter always is good to have, you don't really need it. The MX has an on-board light meter, that the camera is 'manual' means that it indicated whether the selected aperture and shutter speed leads to over- or underexposure, of which you select both yourself. Manual cameras also tend to be able to operate without batteries ("mechanical operation"), though this usually isn't an issue (a set of SR/LR44 would typically last tens of rolls, probably much longer) unless you are shooting in extreme conditions.
Of course, a light meter will offer more flexibility in many situations, though you could always adjust the camera metering after a grey card held up in front of the camera (or aim at grass, grey tarmac or even your palm) if you encounter a situation in which you are not sure how much you should compensate. I suggest picking up your K200D and try out how manual mode and center-weighted works out for you. Note situations with back-lit subjects and certain other subjects that tend to 'fool' the meter.
06-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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I use a small Pentax AF160 flash on my MX with a small diffuser hood over it. I know exactly what you mean about the strong flash, I tend not to like it either and the diffuser softens it without the need for a large bounce flash.
06-28-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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For many years my flash with the MX bodies (when they were my only bodies) was the Vivitar 283. It has enough power to bounce well, and it is dirt cheap on Ebay. The all-mechanical MX will not fry under its higher trigger voltage, giving you the ability to use this bargain where others can't.

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